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The New Kingdom of Mecca, Coastal Waters off Hensink, UN 1st CorRon, UNS Goblin

Commander Ford stood outside the bridge's open air walkway and observed the dark vessel under a pair of night vision binoculars. The dark silhouette of the Protectorate airship had started moving under its own power after the 101st ATI had inserted on board the ship thirty minutes ago.

"Sir," The Captain of the Goblin appeared at the hatch. "The enemy flagship is turning directly towards their predicted course."

"At their current speed," Reported the Captain. "They will enter the boundary of the End Zone in three hours. By then, the fleet will lose contact with the enemy flagship."

"Move the fleet within main gun range," Commander Ford ordered as he kept his eyes glued to his binoculars. "No running lights."

"Aye, Sir!" The Captain replied and returned into the bridge to relay the orders.

Suddenly the enemy flagship seemed to hit a snag as its speed dropped. Commander Ford broke into a smile as he whispered to himself, "Those damn bastards did it!"

"Sir!" The Captain reappeared at the hatch. "The enemy ship-"

"I know!" Ford cut off the excited Captain's words. "Tell the marines to stand by for action!"

"Yes Sir!"

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Protectorate Flagship Aggression, Rear Main Boiler Station

"Reloading!" A Claymore Six operative yelled as he ducked back into cover to reload. Tyrier crouching next to the Claymore Six operative covered him, snapping aim shots down into the breach where bodies had piled up two deep around the entry hatch.

"Boss!" Tyrier's comms blared. "They are storming the rear hatch!"

"Shit!" Tyrier cursed before he yelled at Claymore Six's team lead. "Harman! We got contacts at the rear! I'm bringing my men to support the rear!"

"Got it!"

"Claymore One! Fall back!" Tyrier yelled to his men. "Support the rear!"

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The latched hatch shook with each heavy clang with dents appearing on the inner surface. Wolf and Hitsu looked at each other, before turning back to the hatch. Hitsu pressed his comm's transmit button and said, "Boss! They are storming the rear hatch!"

The hatch shook again with a mighty clang and a hook was punched through the thick metal door, leaving a large jagged tear. Hitsu removed his magazines and stacked them on the cart he was behind, for quick access. The tear on the metal hatch was enlarged further by another mighty clang, the torn metal screaming as another spiked hook appeared.

"Oh, fark..." Wolf hissed. "Is... that... a bloody Warjack?"

"Who the fark uses a Warjack in such tight... confines..." Hitsu's voice trailed off as a red pair of glowing eyes peered through the torn opening of the hatch. "Oh... ok.. we are farked... So farked!"

"What have we got?" Tyrier suddenly arrived behind Hitsu who gestured the torn hatch. "Oh... fark..."

A pair of hooked spike appeared in the torn metal and with a loud groan of twisted metal, the remains of the hatch were ripped apart. The pair of glowing red eyes disappeared and a muzzle appeared at the ripped hatch.

"BACK!" Tyrier roared and everyone fell back when the muzzle spewed out a dense cloud of superheated steam into the boiler room. The temperature instantly spiked up as the Warjack's steam thrower cleared the area for its soldiers to storm into the boiler station.

"Where the fark did that came from?" Tyrier cursed as droplets of hot water scalded unprotected parts of his body. He popped up from cover and saw beetle headed soldiers rushing through the hatch. "Incoming contact!"

A barrage of gunfire hammered the newcomers, their magic barriers flickering as bullets greeted them. Hitsu tossed a hand grenade perfectly into the cluster of Protectorate soldiers and the resulting explosion shattered most of the enemies' barrier, allow bullets to travel unimpeded into their bodies.

The flood of enemy soldiers was temporarily halted allowing the Claymore One operatives some breathing room to regroup and hold the point. Wolf hissed in pain as Tavel cast a healing spell over his scalded face and made him swallow some painkillers to take the pain away. The patch of skin peeling off Wolf's cheek started to scab over under the healing spell. Tavel further slapped a patch of band aid over his wound and gave him a pat of encouragement on his shoulder.

"Anyone remembered to bring along some anti tank weapons?" Loke asked as he shot down another Beetle head.

"Nope!" Hitsu yelled back. "But I still got several demo charges!"

"That thing can't get into the boiler room!" Tyrier said. "Unless..."

"Unless they open that massive vault doors!" Wolf hissed in pain. "If they blow the locks to the giant doors..."

"The bloody Warjacks will have access in!"

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The New Kingdom of Mecca, Coastal Waters off Hensink, UN Fleet, UNS Resource

The converted merchant transport nested in the middle of the Fleet under the protective umbrella of several escorts. The converted transport hosted a flat top like a modern day aircraft carrier, and half a dozen CH - 1 transport helicopters had their rotors spinning up.

Marines in their multi cam uniforms and combat gear appeared from a side ladder as they assembled on the top decks. Officers and NCOs yelled orders and the Marines split up into rows as they ran towards the waiting transports.

As the last hatch of the CH - 1 Griffin closed, one by one, the transport helicopters rosed up and headed under the cover of the night towards the unsuspecting airship in the far distant under escort by four of Marines Unicorn gunships.

The trip barely took the helicopter transports fifteen minutes to arrive when suddenly, illumination spells burst out from the Protectorate Fleet, turning the night into day. The fleet of helicopters was illuminated immediately and the pilots quickly went into evasive maneuvers. Protectorate escort airships maneuvered to place themselves between the helicopters and the muzzles of steam cannons started to stick out.

The night skies suddenly started to be filled with projectiles as the Protectorate Fleet fired their steam weapons. The fleet of Marine helicopters dived and zig zagged around, as each pilot took independent action. The marines on board the Griffins yelled in panic as the ride turn rough, while the goblin aviation crew giggled madly as they thought it was fun.

The Marine Unicorns charged forward and ripple fired volleys of rockets into the sides of the Protectorate escorts. The flash of explosions illuminating the night further and blanking out the pilots' night vision. Numerous flares erupted out from Marines' Ah - 1 Unicorns' flare dispenser as the gunships sought to draw fire from the enemy away from the transports by lighting themselves up.

"Shit!" The lead CH - 1 Griffin pilot yelled into the comms. "All units break! BREAK! Enemy flagship's shields are up!"

"Abort landing! Abort! Abort!"

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The New Kingdom of Mecca, Coastal Waters off Hensink, UN 1st CorRon, UNS Goblin

"Target the flagship!" Commander Ford roared out as he stared at the fireworks in the distance. "Take its shields down or the helicopters can't land! All ships... OPEN FIRE!"

"Aye aye! Firing!" The weapons officer cried out. Almost instantly, the number one and number two gun roared in response, spewing out a two meter long cloud of flames. The rest of the fleet almost fired in unison, and one could spot the pinprick dots of trailing sparks from the fired shells.

Seconds later, reports from gun observers started flooding in and the gun crews readjusted their firing solutions and the 3" guns of the corvettes roared again.

The size of the Protectorate's flagship made the shells hard to miss, causing the magical barrier of the flagship to flicker madly in the night. The valiant Protectorate's escorts that stood between the volley of naval shells unwittingly took some of the shelling.

One unlucky Protectorate escort, Enforcer, took the brunt of the shelling and its weaker shields vapourised when several shells smashed into the escort. Without any shields, the escort took another two direct hits on its side in the next volley and immediately lost power. The Enforcer's altitude dropped rapidly as aetherium gas and steam escaped out from its ruptured hull, the crew struggled desperately to save the dying airship.

The UN Fleet consisting of three squadrons of four corvettes and two converted merchant ships continued to fire shell after shell at the enemy flagship, wanting to knock down the shields so that the Marines helicopters could land.

The Protectorate flagship's guns attempted to counter fire back at the UN Fleet but was severely outmatched in terms of firepower, range, and accuracy. The fleet of Marine helicopter transports could only circle just out of range of the Protectorate Fleet's weapons.

The UN Fleet kept up its heavy barrage aiming at the flagship's shields, creating flowers of flames to appear several meters away from the hull, the heat and shockwave scorching the paint and creating stress on the armor platings.

Finally, after almost fifteen minutes of heavy shelling and running through two quarters of the UN Fleet's ammunition. The semi transparent magical barrier popped like a soap bubble, the backlash of magical energies made the runes etched on the barrier nodes to burn out and melt the surrounding metal into slag.

"Shields are down, Sir!" The Goblin's Captain excited cry reached Ford's ears.

"All ships! Ceasefire!" Ford quickly ordered. "Tell the Marines the way is clear again!"

"Aye, aye, Sir!"

-----

Corporal Slow gripped his light machine gun tightly as the helicopter transport suddenly dived downwards, making him feel as if the seat and deck at his feet had disappeared. The helicopter suddenly rose up again, making him slam against the deck again when the pilot's voice came over the cabin. "The farking shields are down! We are going back in!"

The fleet of helicopters loitering beyond the range of the enemy weapons charged back in towards the enemy flagship. They flew in a random flight pattern to avoid the anti air fire but one helicopter carrying half a platoon of Marines suddenly faltered in the air as dozens of bolts passed through the same airspace.

Smoke and sparks erupted out from the sickened helo and it disappeared into the inky ocean with a splash. The pilots who witnessed the crash quickly call for rescue for the downed helicopter but they knew it was too late for its crew and Marines.

"Get ready to dismount!" The pilot called out. "One minute!"

The officer in charge of his platoon climbed out of his seat and yelled at the men, "Alright, you punks! Are you ready to die?"

"Hooraah!" The Marines chorused in reply. "Marines lead the way!"

The helicopter suddenly rose up again and immediately did a ninety degree turn to cut its rapid airspeed down. The rear cargo hatch of the CH - 1 Griffin swung open and the goblin aircrew started yelling at the Marines to get out. "Get ya fat asses off my baby! Dum ma reens!"

The relieved Marines gladly hopped off the transport as the ride was too harrowing for them. The men spread out on the deck of the airship and the helicopter lifted off again, braving the anti air fire again as it returned back to the carrier.

The Marines spread out along the decks, securing the area as more and more Marine helicopter transports touched down on the deck and Marines started to unload out. Suddenly hatches on the top decks opened up and scores of red uniformed soldiers rushed out and the decks turned into a battleground.

Slow braced his LMG's bipod on some unknown structure's surface and fired in bursts at the Beetle heads that appeared. The personnel shields of the Beetle heads flickering under the dark night from the sparks and glows of the kinetic energy of the bullets.

The numbers and ranged advantage of the Marines very quickly took a toll on the enemy even with their advantage of having personnel magic shields. The one sided firefight soon came to a halt when no more red uniformed Protectorate soldiers appeared from the hatches.

"All units move in! We are taking over this piece of shit!"

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